People hugged tightly outside the church where Elle Edwards began her final journey.
Today (Wednesday, January 25), family and close friends went to St Nicholas’ Church in Wallasey to celebrate the life of the 26-year-old. Elle died when a gunman opened fire in the Lighthouse pub, Wallasey Village shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve.
Hundreds of mourners gathered on the road around the church, even well-wishers who don’t know the family but were touched by the tragedy.
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A local resident who lives nearby told ECHO: “We just felt like we had to be here. We wanted to pay our respects.”
Another added: “It’s just absolutely tragic and a waste of life. That family will never recover. It’s heartbreaking.”
Crowds lining the streets fell silent as black-clad mourners arrived at the church for a horse-drawn carriage carrying Elle’s coffin. A hearse leading the procession contained a beautiful white floral arrangement reading “Elle May”.
Relatives entered the church for the funeral service, led by Reverend Jeff Staples, who has been in regular contact with Elle’s family. He told mourners that there was “a lot in Elle’s life that needed to be celebrated”.
Reverend Staples said, “It is not for me to add to what Elle’s family has said about Elle. So, what words should I add for our meeting today?
“Well, I’m going to talk about two very important needs, the need for peace and the need for hope. (Elle’s father) Tim shared in an interview how he and Elle enjoyed walking in the lakes, so I hope Tim don’t mind me saying that when he met me here in Sinterklaas the other day, we talked about finding peace.
“Tim said he found peace when he walked to the top of a high hill and stopped to stare out. He experienced stillness and calmness, I think that’s how a lot of people seek peace, isn’t it? To get out of the local hub- bub of life and just be in a place of calmness, of stillness, to be in the moment.
“Having peace is important now. It’s always important, but it’s especially important now. It’s important because many of you, if not all of you, will be going through a whole range of emotions: sadness and sadness, of course, maybe anger, fear, anxiety , shock or bewilderment.
“Can I also share something that Elle’s Grandpa George said recently, and again I hope he doesn’t mind. George said we had to leave this place today with hope in our hearts.
“How true is that? If we lose hope, then the darkness of evil has won. We’ve all been touched by the darkness on one level or another in recent weeks, it’s just like Tim said.”
After the service, the family returned to their vehicles as people hugged each other in the street. Elle was then driven to a private service at Landican Cemetery and Crematorium.
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